The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Editor’s Forum

They are here to protect our country. Every day they willingly put their lives out on the battlefield. Rarely do they enjoy the everyday necessities most Americans take advantage of. They carry weapons. They fight in wars. They die.

Monday is the day for Americans to celebrate and remember the lives of our military lost in war. Memorial Day, a day declared a national holiday in 1971, is a day designated to honor those who have fought and died for our country.

For years, patriotism in our country was nonexistent. However, Sept. 11, 2001 marked the rebirth of patriotism. Flags that were only hung in front of homes for July 4 surfaced on almost every home.

Never did one see so many people wearing shirts with the American flag on them. And never before was the unity here in America so evident.

The unity and patriotism that existed three years ago has disappeared. Instead, it appears there is no longer a threat to attack America and citizens have gone back to their everyday lives.

However, those in the military have not reverted back to the everyday activities in their lives.

Several of the men and women who are fighting in Iraq will be added to the list of soldiers already Americans remember and celebrate on Memorial Day.

While so many of our soldiers are sacrificing their lives to protect not only the way of the American life, but also the way of the Iraqi life, it is a shame most Americans do not take time on this day to appreciate the lives lost in previous wars or those lives fighting in this war.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed as Decoration Day in 1868 by Gen. John Logan. It was a day intended for families to rejoice in the lives of those soldiers who died in the Civil War and wars prior to it. Wives and families would gather to decorate soldiers’ tombstones with flowers.

Instead of finding most Americans decorating loved one’s tombstones with flowers Monday, many will be barbequing, shopping at the Memorial Day sales or enjoying the day at the beach.

For many Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. It is a time when a request for a two-week vacation is entered. It is a time when students know school is almost out for the summer. It is a time when families forget their problems and enjoy the hot sun and the beautiful beaches.

This, however, is not what Memorial Day is all about. It is a day meant for more than a vacation, a day off or a barbeque. It isn’t about buying a new Honda or a new pair of jeans.

After the Civil War, it became a day of unity, of honor and of respect. It was a day when all Americans were joined together to celebrate lives lost in war. It was a day of patriotism and appreciation for America.

It is a shame people today don’t take the time to show pride in our country. Until there is another attack or threat made against America, I cannot imagine seeing hundreds of American flags through the windows of homes on my drive to campus.

Most students will probably enjoy their day off at the beach, at work or at a barbeque; this is fine. However, all that is asked is to take a moment Monday to remember America’s soldiers.

Although I am not proud of some of the things our country has done, I know that I am proud to be an American and Monday I will take a moment of my time to remember those who have fought, those who have protected and those who have died for this country.

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